Apple stays vigilant in the face of the global pandemic by supporting employees, communities – and Apple Card holders.
The novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, has disrupted the regular routines of many communities, posing multiple new challenges, including financial ones. To help consumers overcome these difficulties, credit card issuers are starting to implement assistance programs for their customers.
Apple Card and Goldman Sachs have taken helping their customers a step further. Last month they launched their new Customer Assistance Program that provides Apple Card users who sign up for the program with an option to skip their March payments – without incurring interest. It was later reported that cardholders can now defer their April payments as well.
See related: Guide to the Apple Card
Customers need to enroll to use the program
On March 14, Apple sent out emails informing cardholders of the program and explaining how it works.
“We understand that the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 situation poses unique challenges for everyone and some customers may have difficulty making their monthly payments,” Apple stated. “Apple Card is committed to helping you lead a healthier financial life.”Further, Apple provided a link to enroll in its Customer Assistance Program. Note that you’re required to enroll to take advantage of this offer. If you skip a payment without doing so, you will still incur interest. Moreover, your credit report will reflect a late payment, which can seriously damage your credit score.
According to Apple, once you enroll, you can expect to receive a confirmation email in the next few days.
If a cardholder already opted in deferring their March payment, they can still request the deferral for a second time following the same guidelines.
Be mindful of credit utilization on your Apple Card
Apple’s Customer Assistance Program can be of great help to those struggling financially due to COVID-19. While many card issuers have reached out to cardholders during this difficult time, Apple is the first company to come up with such a generous offer for its customers.
“This is the most generous policy I’ve seen because they won’t be accruing interest,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “Other issuers may allow you to pay less or not at all, but the interest still gets tacked on at some point.”
However, it’s a good idea to stay mindful of your spending. While it’s a great option to have in a financial struggle, it’s important to consider your card’s credit utilization – your balance relative to your credit limit. Having a lot of outstanding charges may negatively impact your credit. Nonetheless, that’s still a lesser concern than a potential late payment.
Apple stays proactive in the face of COVID-19
Creating an assistance program for cardholders is not the first initiative the company has come up with to address coronavirus concerns. Apple is also temporarily closing its stores outside of greater China and encouraging employees to work from home. Additionally, Apple is donating $15 million “help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic,” according to CEO Tim Cook.